CUS502 International Customs Law (16)

This unit introduces students to the relationship between the domestic responsibilities of customs services and the international law obligations to which they give effect. The unit examines the jurisdiction of customs authorities and assesses the international organisations and conventions that impact on customs activities, with particular focus on the impact of the conventions of the World Customs Organization.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2021.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Centre for Customs and Excise Studies

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to identify and assess critically the sources of international customs law including key international instruments affecting Customs operations
  • be able to apply the principles of international customs law to situations that they may face as customs officials
  • be able to analyse issues that may arise in the customs environment in the context of international legal requirements
  • be able to make high level, independent judgements concerning the administration of customs procedures in conformity with the rules of international law
  • be able to demonstrate an ability to contribute to policy-making processes which impact on customs practice and procedure with appropriate reference to relevant international conventions


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction to International Customs Law
  • International Customs Law and the Contemporary International Environment
  • Treaties as sources of International Customs Law
  • Other sources of International Customs Law
  • Customs Jurisdiction
  • Jurisdiction in the Air and at Sea
  • Jurisdiction - Extraterritoriality and Immunity
  • Key WCO Instruments
  • The CCC Convention and the HS Convention
  • The Revised Kyoto Convention and the SAFE Framework
  • WTO Agreements
  • The key principles of GATT
  • Other WTO Agreements
  • Offences, Sanctions and Appeals
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Other international customs offences
  • International guidance on penalties and legal process

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.